Every one of us at some point in life will need, or know someone who needs, help from the St John Ambulance. Their life-saving service responds quickly to accidents and emergencies, ensuring our loved ones come home safe.
Whether it’s a car crash or life-threatening incident such as a heart attack or stroke, the St John Ambulance Service in Tauranga is there to help, treating and transporting approximately 20,000 people a year.
St John also provide many other vital services in our community such as first aid training courses, a medical alarm service and health shuttles to take people with impaired mobility to attend essential appointments.
Need for New Building
While people are at the heart of St John’s work, the facility that houses the ambulances and team is also vitally important to delivery of service.
The old St John building, which was completed in 1982, had deteriorated to a point where it was providing a substandard working environment and had been identified as an earthquake risk.
St John District Operations Manager Jeremy Gooders said the redevelopment was necessary to accommodate the needs of the rapidly growing Western Bay community.
“Since the original station was built, paid ambulance staff numbers have gone from 8 to approximately 40, and volunteer numbers have gone from 12 to approximately 25. St John has also introduced two health shuttles, increased public first aid training and the medical alarm business has grown. We simply did not have the space before to accommodate our growing service.”
In order to facilitate the reconfiguring of the old St John building, the St John Building Project Trust was formed; rallied together by the businesses within the ANZ Centre, 247 Cameron Road.
The businesses helped raise $2,459,000 towards the build thanks to multiple funders and generous community support. After securing TECT funding, the project got over the line and in 2018 the St John Tauranga team were happy to call a new facility home.
The newly built St John Ambulance premises on 17th Ave, which serves the communities of Tauranga, Papamoa and Mount Maunganui, is now a first-class space with modern and functional facilities.
The new premises include a garage for 12 vehicles, housing for ambulances, event staff and health shuttle volunteers, meeting and training facilities, and is the control hub for all ambulance operations in the region.
A Vital Service in Our Community
Meeting the broader health needs of our region, St John is truly part of the fabric of our community.
Jeremy says the new facility is fantastic to work out of and would not have been possible without TECT’s support.
“It is great to see the place humming with ambulances coming and going, paramedic simulation training, national diploma classes and public first aid training all happening simultaneously.
“The TECT grant was critical to enabling this project to happen; without TECT’s support we would not have this facility as it stands today.”
TECT Trustee Amanda Sutcliffe says TECT were happy to help St John get the upgraded facility they deserved with a grant of $2,034,000.
“We were thrilled to support the build – the St John Ambulance provide an invaluable service, impacting how every one of us receives emergency healthcare.
“The work the staff and volunteers do is immeasurably vital to our community, and we were happy to help bring the St John Ambulance facility up to standard—it was in much need of a rebuild.”
To learn more about the work St John do, visit https://www.stjohn.org.nz/